Etsy Jam Episode 45: Your Questions Our Answers

In this episode, we tackle some questions, submitted by you, our Marmalead family! We touch on topics like how to maximize keywords, how important conversion rates are, and the ever mysterious, search bar. So, continue on for another great Etsy Jam blog post, and make sure you check out our actual Jam for ever more in depth answers!

Without further ado, let’s jump right on in…

1. What do you do if your shop has 100s of listings, all shooting for the same 5-10 keywords?

Find other words. There’s really no other option. Most shoppers won’t go passed the first 3-5 pages of search results, so that really only gives you about 5 spots for any given keyword…so, if you decide to go with more than that, you just gotta understand, you’re competing with yourself, right? If you have hundreds of listings that are shooting for the same keywords, you really have to “cast a wider net” as we like to say. Get more niche. Attract people who are looking for something super specific. For example if you have thirty  listings with thirteen tags each, do the math here, that’s about 390 unique keywords you could be using. Talk about a wide net! It’s totally possible and very doable, you’ve just got to get creative…which is why you started an Etsy shop to begin with, right?

2. I found the PERFECT keyword, Richie, but it’s more than 20 characters long…what do I do?! Richie Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope! (Duh, duh, duuuuuuuuh!) 

Well, young padawan, you’re gonna split it up! Not in your title, but definitely in your tags. Now there are two schools of thought here, but this is the one I agree with: 

Cut it in half. If it makes sense and you can read the tag split in two, go ahead and do it that way. But remember, if you DO split it in half and it doesn’t make sense, it really DOES NOT MATTER! It’s for the search engine NOT the shopper. No one shopping really looks at the tags anyway…I mean, unless you’re into a little light tag reading by the fire in the evenings. So, basically, it’s for the machine not the people, which sounds more Hunger Games than Star Wars, I know. Just make sure you understand that you can split them apart and they don’t have to make sense, because they really are for the machine/search engine at the end of the day.

3. After using your targeted keyword right at the front of your title, is it best to use less specific keywords like “gift for her” or should you keep with specific details long tailed keywords after that? 

I would say, stay more specific and here’s why: You HAVE to do this really intentionally. Basically, the more generic you go, the more competitive it is, the more competitive it is, the LESS likely you are to rank that listing the further back in your title it goes. So, let’s say you’ve taken your generic keywords and put them in the very front of your title. You’ve also done everything right to target them. Basically, you’ve put them in the front, you’ve matched everything, you have a renewing strategy and great, you’re showing up! Now, put the generic keywords half way through your title, and you’re probably not that competitive anymore because you’ve lost that competitive edge. Don’t do that. Put the less competitive keywords, the specific and unique one here, because you actually have a fighting chance with this placement. Otherwise, you’re kinda just filling space. 

Now, you’re struggling to find other keywords to spread across your listings, you could shoot for putting more generic keywords toward the front of your titles and target more competitive and generic markets and spots that you can still rank for. But, you definitely want to be careful when you do this. Make sure you’re using keywords that actually work for you, even the generic and competitive ones. And don’t just leave them there, double check and see if they’re working for you! Don’t leave words hanging out that aren’t helping you rank. If this is the case, find something that’s slightly more specific to you but still generic.  

Bottom line here: Make these things work for you. If you’re listings aren’t showing up where you think they should be, you MUST change what you’re doing. The beauty of it is, you can tailor your title and keyword placement to work in your favor. Experiment! Switch stuff up! See what gets you the best results!

4. Why are some texts duds when they are all green in Marmalead? I rank on the first page, it’s a relevant keyword for me, and my listing prices are within the average price range. So, why are these keywords not working for me, even if I’m ranking?   

Well, this could be a couple things. First, if you’re using an “average” price range, that could be your first problem! You could be disappearing into the average. Maybe there are forty plus other results on the page, plus ads, and you’re just blending into everything. Also, if your pictures aren’t standing out, that could also be an issue. A couple ways to tell if your pictures aren’t that great are if you’re showing up on the search page AND you’re ranking, but people just aren’t clicking. You MUST stand out! So, make sure you have unique, appealing pictures that entice buyers to click on your listing.

The other thing too is, if you’re targeting keywords that are too low of competition, that could also be a problem. For example, if you’re targeting something that only has ten results that come up, or maybe the buyer really did type your VERY rare keywords in, still, if there are ONLY ten results that pop up, they could be thinking…huh….is this it?? Are these my only choices? Maybe I should be searching for something else with more options. Because, the truth is, we really DO like options! 

Bottom line here: There really isn’t some black and white answer to this question. It definitely depends on what you’re selling and the audience you’re selling to. If you’re competing with a lot of other artists because you’re less specialized, concentrate on price range, standing out, and having awesome pictures! However, if you’ve found your own extremely specialized niche, add some other more general keywords that relate in, and don’t get discouraged if your sell rate is slow at first. If buyers actually know what you’re selling because you’re so specialized, this DOES increase the chance that they’ll actually purchase from you. Super low views, maybe, but more than likely, a very high conversion rate! 

5. Is there any merit to checking tags in both Marmalade AND the Etsy search bar? If it’s green in Marmalead but it’s not showing up for me in the Etsy search bar, is that a false positive that it’s a good keyword? 

Basically, if you’re looking in both because you have extra time, by all means, go for it! But, you’ll probably end up with more questions than answers. Can you imagine if every good search really populated in the search bar…what that would look like as a user experience?! You type in the letter “S” and get 25,342,185.456 search results….aaaand, how would Etsy seriously populate every single search on this letter? Also, how would it be politically correct…?! I mean, look what happened with Microsoft’s A.I Bot on Twitter…..oh, you don’t know about that? (Ahem, as your writer, I totally wish I had time to cover it, but since I don’t, here’s a shameless plug to go listen to our Jam for more fun details on this!) 

Soooo, back to the search bar. We’ve talked to a lot of sellers who have said it’s best if you can stay in front of trends that are about to happen. A good example of this would be to set up all your Christmas items BEFORE Christmas, BEFORE people start to really search for them.

We know the Etsy search bar is based on things that have been searched for recently. How recently, you might ask? Well, we don’t really know. Etsy doesn’t share that with us, BUT the point is if you’re only looking back at things that were popular in the last month or so as the seller, you’re really not setting yourself up to be successful in the future if Valentine’s Day is coming up.

And honestly, it doesn’t have to be as obvious as an upcoming Holiday. It could be a trend that you’ve caught onto that’s coming up, but it isn’t showing up in the Etsy search bar yet. Should you incorporate it? Absolutely! Definitely jump on it! Especially if listings are getting good engagement, clicks, and views! It that’s happening, keep at it, keep doing what you’re doing, because that’s what it’s all about. 

Also, an important thing to remember is that, yeah, while you may be able to do a search in Amazon, Google, Ebay, or anywhere else with a search bar and find lots of results (because they show you popular searches above all else), that does NOT equate to being a good thing for you as a seller. If you’re simply counting the number of searches an item has, and not taking into account if said item has action on it from the buyer, like viewing and buying, that will NOT get you to where you want to be sales wise or engagement wise. 

Bottom line here: You want to find the terms and searches that people are actually engaging with. Repeat after me: Engagement. Clicks. Views.

6. Should my conversion rate be the same for higher priced items, specifically ones whose use is primarily decorative? (Basically, does conversion rate change based on my target market, my target price range, my quality or my products vs. other products that buyers might find on Etsy?)

Sometimes it can very much based on the market and honestly it depends on what you’re selling. In general, retail has a very stable conversion rate, and yeah, some people convert really low. In case you didn’t know, Etsy gives a baseline for conversion. They want to see shops at 3%…now, remember, Etsy isn’t looking at each individual category, which if they could I’m sure they would and that would change the percentage given. I mean, if you’re selling something that’s again very niche and unique, you may not be getting as many views BUT your conversion rate might be WAY higher than normal because you get less window shopping and more purchasing. Again, it all depends on where you’re selling, and where you’re selling depends on what keywords you’re using. 

It’s important to be in the correct “neighborhood” within Etsy. Just like in the real world, you can set up shop in a higher end neighborhood and you’ll probab;y sell more expensive products and items. This  is also true goes for lower end neighborhoods. Switch the two around, however, try selling the higher priced item in a lower end neighborhood, or the lower priced item in a higher end neighborhood, and the chances are, you’re just simply not going to sell as much. Better move neighborhoods! And the way to do that on Etsy, are keywords. Your conversion rate is directly related to how you price your items and where you setup shop with your keywords.

Bottom line here: It’s not HOW MUCH you have things priced at, but WHERE you’re trying to sell them. Pay attention to your audience and who exactly it is you’re marketing to. And if necessary, “move neighborhoods” to fit your items needs.

7. Which counts more, a listing’s individual conversion rate, or a shop’s over all conversion rate? 

Short answer? It’s not just about conversion rates. That’s simply one piece of the puzzle. So, to ask which matters more, this conversion rate or that conversion rate, isn’t really what you want to focus on alone. Think about it all. How are your keywords, how are your search results, how is your engagement and based on that, how is your conversion rate? Renewals also carry a lot of weight on individual conversion rates, which play back into the whole search bar thing. 

Bottom line here (with a shocking black and white answer): We can’t isolate that ONE variable…make sense? As a seller and shop owner, make sure you’re not obsessing over one piece of the puzzle, but that you’re taking a step back and looking at this thing as whole.

Well everyone, we’ve come to our very last, but certainly not least BONUS QUESTION (duh, duh, duuuuuuh):

How long is a shop considered new?

Ok, the simply answer is, you pretty much have to show up to the party. What I mean by that is, you can’t open a shop and just kinda leave it there…that’s only going to keep you in neutral territory. It would seem that being new isn’t on a time based scale, but rather on the activity and action that you have going on. According to Etsy’s “How It Works” page, their listing quality is described as this: you’re showing up on the search page and people are clicking on your listing.

If Etsy continues to put your listing or shop up high on the search page, but you consistently get far less views than the shop right next to you, what do you think is gonna happen? That’s right, they’ll choose that other shop and more like it to rank higher than your shop. So time really isn’t a factor, activity is. 

In this episode, we tackle some questions, submitted by you, our Marmalead family! We touch on topics like how to maximize keywords, how important conversion rates are, and the ever mysterious, search bar. So, continue on for another great Etsy Jam blog post, and make sure you check out our actual Jam for ever more in depth answers!

 

Etsy Jam Scoops:

Etsy Jam Episode 43: The Magic Quadrantilizer of Answers

Have you ever felt like you’re trying to do a billion things at once and more new things are showing up faster than you can get things done? Don’t fall into the trap of feeling overwhelmed and letting each new task rock your boat. Instead, use the Magic Quadrantilizer of Answers to find the MOST important thing for you to spend your time on.

I realize that sounded like the beginning of an infomercial but in all seriousness, this process works really well. We are going to start with a massive list of tasks/ideas and boil it down to the key activities that will help you make the most progress toward a goal. To help keep things straightforward, we’ve broken the process down into 5 easy payments of $19.95. Wait no…sorry…that was for the infomercial. We’re using 5 easy STEPS:

Step 1: Have a goal

In order to know if the stuff we’re working on is valuable, we need to know where we’re trying to go. For our example we’ll keep things simple and use the goal “I want to double the sales of my shop.” Pick your number one goal right now. Maybe one of your New Year’s resolutions or just a really solid personal goal that you want to reach. Extra bonus points if you create a S.M.A.R.T. goal – but don’t get caught up on that if you just want some quick answers!

Step 2: Have some tasks or ideas

If you’re like me, step 2 is easier than step 1. There seems to be an endless flow of things I can spend my time on. Take a moment to brain dump and write everything down that’s been weighing you down. Richie and I love to use sticky notes for this but if it’s easier to start by just grabbing a sheet of college ruled paper (to save trees, obviously) and writing one activity per line, go for it.

Step 3: Ask yourself “Can I do it?”

Go through your list of tasks and for EACH one ask yourself “can I do this?” Score them on a scale of 0 to 5 where 0 means “this would be super difficult” and 5 means “this is a total piece of cake.” Don’t worry too much about scoring things perfectly – we can always adjust the scores later. As you go through your list, it helps to compare things with one another too. Ask yourself “is this harder or easier than that?” As you do more, they’ll get easier. We have some examples coming if you feel like you need a little more guidance.

Step 4: Ask yourself “Will it help?”

Go back through your list and for each task ask yourself if it will help you get to your goal. Make sure you’re using the same goal for each task! Just like your first score, use a scale of 0 to 5 where 0 means “nope this probably won’t help” and 5 means “heck yeah this will really help.” You may find that some activities don’t really help you reach your goal or they may be more in line with a different goal. That’s okay! Rate them low or set them aside for now.

Step 5: Graph it up!

This is the really fun part (I think). Grab some wall space or table space or window space or floor space. Just a big 5 foot by 5 foot open area will work perfectly. Now we need to make a big chart with a horizontal axis and vertical axis.

The vertical line measures how well you scored each task for “can I do it?”

The vertical "can I do it" axis

The horizontal line measures how well you scored each task for “will it help?”

The horizontal "will it help" axis

For this, Richie and I like to use painters tape. It will stick well to walls, tables, floors and windows and doesn’t leave a bunch of sticky residue after you take it down. After you’ve got your lines set up, your space should look like this:

The Magic Quadrantilizer Chart

Some Examples

Okay so you may see where we’re going already and be comfortable putting your tasks up on your chart, but if not, here are some examples of how we’d score tasks related to our goal of doubling our shop’s sales. Keep in mind that everyone’s scores will be different. Something that’s easy for one person may be difficult for someone else. Something that worked really well for one person may not have worked out very well for someone else. This is purely our fictional world of scoring (scary, right?)

Start a Blog

Can I do it?

SCORE: 0

Yeah I can do this but it will take a ton of time. I’m going to need to find a hosting provider, register a domain name, make sure I have an SSL cert to help with Google’s SEO, find good blogging software, write and publicize my posts. I’ve never done this before so it will take a lot of research time too.

Will it help?

Score: 0

If I’m honest with myself, I don’t think it will help much. I’ve heard from other sellers that they had a tough time knowing what to blog about and they never really got a whole lot of traffic to their blog….much less traffic that turns into SALES in my Etsy shop. So I’m not super optimistic about this one.

Start a Blog 0 / 0 goes here:

Guest Blog

Can I do it?

SCORE: 4

This one seems much more do-able than creating my own blog. I basically just need to search out blogs that I can guest post on and spend the time to write content for them. Not the easiest thing in the world but pretty straightforward.

Will it help?

Score: 1

Again I don’t think this will be a treasure trove for new sales BUT if I’m guest blogging on an established site, they already have an audience built up. This is something I wouldn’t have if I were starting my own site so for that I’ll give it a 1 instead of a 0.

Guest Blog 4 / 1 goes here:

Promoted Listings

Can I do it?

SCORE: 5

Totally. These seem really easy to set up from everything I’ve seen. I just need to figure a budget and decide which listings I want to feature.

Will it help?

Score: 4

Hard to say but I’ve heard of other sellers getting good returns on their investment with promoted listings. I know that in order for promoted listings to work well, I need to be targeting solid keywords on my items first. Fortunately, because I use Marmalead my SEO is in a really good spot. See what I did there? 😉

Promoted Listings 5 / 4 goes here:

Google Ads

Can I do it?

SCORE: 2

Eh this seems like more work than promoted listings. I don’t know as much about Google or how to set up Google Ads for a good return on my investment. It will take some research time.

Will it help?

Score: 3

Hard to say again but I’ve heard mixed things from other Etsy sellers. It seems like it may not do as well as promoted listings on Etsy – because when a shopper is on Etsy, they are already there with the intention of making a purchase. Showing them my ad will have a higher chance of making a sale than showing it to somebody just searching on Google. Again, not completely sure but my gut says slightly worse performance than Etsy promoted Listings.

Google Ads 2 / 3 goes here:

Social Media

Can I do it?

SCORE: 3

Can I sign up for a Twitter and Facebook account and start blasting out photos and links? Sure. That’d be a 5. But can I do Social Media RIGHT? That’s harder. I’ll need to do some digging and learn about which platforms have the best engagement for shoppers. I’ll also need to learn the best way to share content on each platform because they’re all different from each other. If I blast the same message out to each channel, I shouldn’t expect much success.

Will it help?

Score: 0

Kind of along the lines of the blog, I think a lot of people on social media aren’t there to shop. My posts will be attracting more window shoppers than serious buyers. It may help with sales a little bit but will it get me on my way to doubling my sales? Probably not.

Social Media 3 / 0 goes here:

Pattern Site

Can I do it?

SCORE: 3

I’ve never made a site before but I’ve heard and seen videos that make this seem pretty straightforward. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5.

Will it help?

Score: 2

I am responsible for driving my own traffic to my pattern site so for that I give this a 0. BUT if I slip a card in my packaging or a sticker on the bottom of my items, this could be a great way to attract repeat customers. It could also help when friends ask where one of my customers got something. They can see the URL and send them my way. So because of the opportunity for repeat sales, I’ll give this a 2.

Pattern Site 5 / 4 goes here:

 

Improve Photos

Can I do it?

SCORE: 3

I’ve done all my own photography and I’m pretty comfortable with my DSLR and editing the photos. It’s just a matter of time to go through each one of my listings, take 20 or so photos of each one, pick the 5 best, and upload those to Etsy.

Will it help?

Score: 5

Yeah. This will definitely help. I know shoppers are visual (especially on Etsy) and I know that better photos will really increase my chances of getting customers to click my listings in search. The 4 other photos will help build their desire to buy and help my shop look consistent across all my listings. Big win towards my goal.

Improve Photos 3 / 5 goes here:

Focus on the Top Right

Now take a look at your top right quadrant and make sure you’re focusing on the things there. Hopefully you’ve gone through a decent number of tasks/ideas and arrived at a much smaller list! The card closest to the top right in our example is “Promoted Listings” so that’s what we’d want to focus on. Then once that’s done, start working on the next closest card to the top right (“Improve Photos”).

Focus on the top right

 

Rinse and Repeat

Do this activity as often as you want! I like to go through this exercise whenever I’m starting to feel overwhelmed. Richie and I like to do it together to help make sure we’re focusing on the next best thing with Marmalead. As a bonus, here are some tips for things you might encounter when you do this on your own (or in a small group!)

Bonus Tip 1: Use Your Gut

Don’t overthink the scores you give cards. Don’t get caught up on being super accurate. It really helps to start trying to make things relative to one another. Will this help MORE than that? Will this be harder to do than that?

Bonus Tip 2: Make sure you MEASURE

As you’re working, measure how well things are working and how long it took you to finish them. This will make you better at estimating scores on future activities and will help you know what’s working and what’s not.

Bonus Tip 3: Stuff Clumped Up? Change your Scale!

Check out this example:

Cards are clumped up

This happens. Don’t worry if it happens to you. Just take the card that’s farthest to the left – in this case, it’s “Social Media.” Looks like it was scored a 2 for how much it will help. Well guess what? Now it’s a 0. “Improve Photos” over on the right was scored about 3.5 – now it’s a 5. Spread those cards out and adjust your scores accordingly.

Bonus Tip 4: Take a Picture

Sticky notes have a tendency to fall off of walls overnight. Make sure you snag a picture with your phone as soon as you finish organizing things so you can remember where things were in case of a catastrophic event…like toddlers who can reach all your difficult ideas.

Try it out!

We’d love to hear how this activity went for you. Share your pictures with us at success at marmalead dot com or in our Facebook group!

Have you ever felt like you're trying to do a billion things at once and more new things are showing up faster than you can get things done? Don't fall into the trap of feeling overwhelmed and letting each new task rock your boat. Instead, use the Magic Quadrantilizer of Answers to find the MOST important thing for you to spend your time on. I realize that sounded like the beginning of an infomercial but in all seriousness, this process works really well. Click me to know all about it!

 

 

Etsy Jam Episode 42: The SEO Secret Hidden in Plain Sight with Joanna from EWDMarketing

In this episode, Joanna joins us from EWD Marketing. This is her SECOND time with Etsy Jam. She joined us in Episode 31. Check it out if you haven’t already. Joanna has been doing some testing and has found some really interesting things that she wanted to share with everybody. But we’ll get to that in a minute. 🙂

A Little Bit of Mythbusting

While helping people with their SEO, Joanna keeps finding that people are following rules which applied three or four years ago. These rules are no longer as relevant because Etsy is constantly tweaking and changing their search algorithms. Etsy is one of those spaces that changes very rapidly compared to other places online. If you’re selling on Etsy you want to make sure you are on top of those changes. Know what those changes are and what you need to do to your shop to position yourself in the best way you possibly can.

Often times, it’s easy to blame Etsy for our shops not getting sales or views. But  behind the scenes, Etsy is working feverishly to help shoppers find the products they are looking for. More sales means more success for Etsy AND its sellers. As sellers, we need to stay flexible and work with the changes. If we don’t, we’ll end up as yesterday’s news and losing our grip on the success of our shops.

Reworking your Listing Titles

People always ask what is wrong with their listings. When you tell them they need to update their tags and titles because these are not relevant and not working, they get frustrated. They feel it’s difficult to find relevant keywords and it’s hard to follow rules they’ve heard about – like avoiding keyword stuffing. Most sellers think they cannot use keywords more than once in their titles – or they will be “stuffing” them. However, it IS possible to re-use keywords in different context. For example: you can use silver starfish necklace, silver starfish bracelet and silver starfish ring and this doesn’t mean you are stuffing your title with the keyword “starfish.”

Another one of Joanna’s firm beliefs is that titles do NOT need to be customer friendly. Titles need to be search algorithm friendly because that is what makes it possible for shoppers to find your products. The only time your title needs to be customer friendly is when it’s on social media and you are trying to bring people back. Otherwise, you need to be writing relevant titles so that the algorithm can show your listings to shoppers who are specifically looking for them.

The SEO Secret in Plain Sight

Our tags and titles aren’t the only way we can help ensure our listings show up in search results. We can also renew our listings to get a nice bump in rank for they keywords we’re targeting. Many people think renewing does not work but it DOES. Joanna has tested this repeatedly with multiple shops to prove it. Check out this screenshot:

Joanna put her shop into vacation mode for a good length of time. Then after taking it out, she didn’t change anything in any of her listings except she started renewing listings frequently. As you can see in her stats graph, the shop lit up with activity as her listings started ranking for relevant keywords. Joanna repeated this with multiple shops to make sure her results were reproducible – and they were! This really illustrates the power of renewing listings which have been set up with relevant keywords.

Joanna makes sure to point out that if you do not have relevant titles and tags, then renewals won’t help  you rank for the best keywords – and you likely won’t see much benefit from renewing. So make sure you have your keyword phrases in ship shape condition!

How to Choose Relevant Keywords Phrases

Relevancy has been misunderstood by a lot of shop owners. What you have to do is go for long tail keywords. Most people limit their keyword phrases to 2 or 3 words. But if you increase your phrases to 4 or even 5 words, and use these long tail keyword phrases right at the beginning of your titles, you will have a much better opportunity to rank on multiple first pages of search.

What you don’t want to do is to use the generic terms (gift, gift for her, etc) and not fine tune them. It’s more important to have a long tail keyword phrase that is relevant to your product – and even more importantly is relevant to how your customer is searching for your product.

Try this Activity

So as an exercise, pick a product that you are struggling to find relevant keywords for. Grab your notebook and jot down some ideas. For our example, let’s use “sweatshirt.” Jot down things about the sweatshirt. It’s pink, it’s got a hood, it has a zipper front, it’s for women and it’s a size medium. Now use Etsy search to try to find 5 competitors that have a product just like yours BUT do not use any of your keyword phrases that you just wrote down. That’s a real eye-opening experience. When you try to look for a sweatshirt and you’re not using pink, or hood, zipper front, size medium but you do know it’s a sweatshirt for her. You have to start thinking differently – and NOW you’re thinking like a customer. Which is exactly how you want to be thinking when you’re picking keywords.

Now take all those new descriptive keywords you just found by thinking like a customer and go to Storm inside Marmalead. See what they generate. Going through the list of keywords in Storm is where you find your actual keywords and come up with the long tail keywords.

Speak Your Customers’ Language

It is important to make sure you are speaking your customers’ language. Just because you are getting views does not mean you have perfect keywords. If you can’t get your views to convert to sales, you could be attracting a lot of people who are just window shopping. Your keywords could be too vague or not great descriptions of your product. Of course there are other factors that go into converting views to sales like your photos, pricing, descriptions, etc. But Just because you’re seeing more views, don’t assume that your SEO is set up with the best keywords. The more you learn to talk your customer’s language the better off it’s going to be for everybody.

The Last Chance Sale

Want to try something fun? Joanna told us about a fun activity she did with one of her Etsy teams. She encourages everyone to try it with one of their groups too.

Go to your Listing Manager in Etsy and open up your Stats. Deactivate anything that has 0 sales and basically no interaction for the last 30 days or 90 days. Those are the items that you will put into your Last Chance Sale. Put a hefty discount on them for the sale – and once the sale is over, pull them from your shop for good. That’s it! They’re out of your shop and you’re done. You have to do this because these items are hurting your conversion sale. Any item that has 0 sales is affecting your conversion rate and it has to go. Pull out all your 0 sales items, set them aside and pick out a date for when you’re going to do your Last Chance Sale.

Now you’re going to go in and use Marmalead to search for a keyword that nobody is using and brings up zero results. Use this keyword at the beginning of your titles and as your first tag for each Last Chance Sale item. Set this up and have your group announce to your audiences on Social Media. On your chosen date, go in Etsy and reactivate these products.

After the sale, make sure you remove all of the listings that didn’t sell. Your conversion rate will go up, sales performance increase and people will be able to find exactly what they are looking for. Conversion rate is as important as relevancy is.

Check it Out Yourself

Head over to Marmalead and type in “EDWMarmalead” then do the same thing at Etsy. Joanna has set up an example to show you how this is working in real time. Keep checking back to see how the views trend as more people search this term on Etsy and Marmalead!

Special Offer from Joanna and EWDMarketing

Anyone who spends $20 or more in Joanna’s shop can use the coupon EWDMarmalead to save 35%!

 

 

Scoops for this Etsy Jam are on the way!

 

In this episode, Joanna joins us from EWD Marketing. This is her SECOND time with Etsy Jam. Joanna has been doing some testing and has found some really interesting things that she wanted to share with everybody. But we'll get to that in a minute. :-)

Etsy Jam Episode 37: To Tag or to Title

In this episode, we talk about how you should put together your title and tags for the best SEO and which you should do first. We also discuss how the SEO grading in Marmalead works and what the TRUE meaning of keyword stuffing is. Spoiler alert – it has to do with turkey and gravy. Stick around for another great Etsy Jam feast.

 

There has been a discussion in our Facebook Group about how one should do their listings’ tags and titles. Eventually, it came down to two schools of thought. There are people who:

  • thinks that when you do your listing, you should do your titles first and then pick out what your tags will be from the keywords in your title
  • thinks that you should come up with all your keywords, put them as tags first, and then fit those into a title.

To Tag or to Title

If you start with finding the right keywords, it doesn’t really matter. If you want to take those keywords that you found and put them in your tags and then figure out your title – that’s okay. Or if you want to pick your keywords and put them in your title in an order that makes sense, and then putting those in your tags, that’s fine too. The ultimate and most important thing is to find the keywords first. Always start with finding quality keywords.

Related: The Quick and Dirty Guide to Finding Great Etsy Keywords


As long as we’re getting to the same spot at the end – which are keywords that end up in our tags and in our titles, it doesn’t matter how you get there. Whatever is easier for you and whatever works out for you. It doesn’t really make that much difference.

Targeting Keywords


You can have one target focus keyword. After that, you can have a number 2 focus keyword, number 3, and so on. You want this to happen because the front of your title is the strongest in relevancy search. The closer it is to the front, the better off you are and the stronger Etsy search thinks it is.

How does Listing Grades work inside Marmalead?

Tags in Title

It basically means “Tag and Title Match”. How many of your tags can you fit inside your title? If you have your title keywords written EXACTLY as it is in your tags, then Marmalead counts that as a tag and title match. That is good because Etsy likes to see that.

If it’s different; say you have “wedding dresses as a tag, but you have “wedding dress” in your title, then that’s not going to fit because it’s looking for your tag in your title. But to add to the confusion, if you had wedding dress as a tag, but wedding dresses” in your title – that would match. Because that’s a subset of “wedding dresses” so it would ‘technically’ find that phrase in your title.

In our grading, you don’t have to fit all 13 tags in your title because you are limited by the 140-characters. We only look for 7 tag and title matches for you to have a full score. Etsy is a different thing because they don’t really care how many you fit into your title. What they care about is if the tag exists in your title. Marmalead is just measuring how well you’re making use of that title to match as many tags as you can.

Recency

Renewing is part of the grading as well. People have asked us before “Why is my grade changing when I haven’t changed anything on my listing?”

The answer is: Your listing is getting older. While your listing is getting older, the market space is constantly having new listings being added to them. When people renew or one of their listings get sold, they are automatically renewed and go to the top too.

Keyword Stuffing Explained

There’s a lot of places where people talk about keyword stuffing. We see this in the Etsy Forums a lot. It comes up in our Facebook Group every now and then too. There are other thought leaders in the Etsy space that talks about keyword stuffing a lot and unfortunately, most times that we’ve seen it used, people are using that term incorrectly.

To best understand this, we should get back to before there was Etsy. Back in Google days. Way back in the day when they wanted to figure out how well a site was geared to talk about a specific keyword, there became a term known as “keyword stuffing”. Keyword stuffing back then was the practice of writing really spammy content in a sense that you take a single keyword and you just insert it in every sentence you possibly can even though it looks awful and doesn’t really add a lot of value. It’s just the same keyword over and over.

If you’re putting a bunch of different keywords in your title and tags – that’s not keyword stuffing. It sounds like it is because you’re ‘stuffing’ all those keywords in there, but you are not using the same keyword over and over so you’re good. If your tag and title looks like “Wedding dress wedding dress wedding dress wedding dress” – that’s keyword stuffing. If you’re targeting something ‘wedding’ related, and 4 of your keywords have the word ‘wedding’ in them, don’t be overly concerned because they’re not the same thing.

We don’t grade the quality of your keywords

Your letter grade does not involve the quality of your keyword. At least not yet. That’s why we show the Marma-meter scores in the Tags table. We score how that tag is performing as far as Engagement, Competition, and Category Page.

Things that sellers can optimize to impact their ranking

First, is deciding what keywords you are going to target. You can always cite which ones you want optimized for.

Secondly, you can make sure that you put them together in your shop in a way that makes Etsy want to find you to be the most relevant. That would be putting the focus keyword in the front of your title and in your tags and make sure that those two things match exactly.

Third, is renewing. You can renew your listings to stay on top of the search you are trying to target.

Things that you can’t control

When people search for you and then they visit your listing; whether or not they purchase. Although you can technically control the outcome because you can have great photos and compelling descriptions, the right price point, and making sure you’re targeting the right keywords. All of these techniques can help improve your conversion rate.

Related: 12 Simple Strategies to BOOST your Conversion Rate

In this episode, we talk about how you should put together your title and tags for the best SEO and which you should do first. We also discuss how the SEO grading in Marmalead works and what the TRUE meaning of keyword stuffing is. Spoiler alert - it has to do with turkey and gravy. Stick around for another great Etsy Jam feast.

Etsy Jam Episode 36: Do Less Be More

In this episode, Richie and I share our top goals for 2017 and encourage you to think about your own goals too. We also go a step further and talk about what systems and techniques you can use to make sure you have the best shot of achieving your goals.

Gordon’s goals this 2017

First Goal

My first one is to be healthier. The way I’m gonna measure that is by losing weight. My goal is to lose 50 lbs. throughout the year of 2017. It’s a big goal for me and I definitely have to work for it, but I have a year to do it and I think if I stay with it, I’ll be able to hit that at the end of the year.

It’s not the weight that really concerns me but feeling healthier and feeling that I am in better shape than I am right now. I’d like to get back to something where I feel I am in a healthier spot in my life and I’m going to measure that with weight.

Second Goal

Number 2 for me came from a video by Gary Vaynerchuk where he was encouraging people to set up a goal for themselves to make $20,170 this year. The whole idea is by starting to sell little things around your house that you’re not interested in and then you grow that up over the course of the year to finding things that have a higher value on eBay and selling these things online. It becomes more of a side hustle with the goal of making $20,170 through the course of the year. Why $20,170? Because it’s 2017.

My real goal is not really the money end of things – but I like the idea of purging and going through the stuff that I have in my house that is just taking up space. Watching the video got me thinking about all that stuff and how it would be nice to either sell or donate them.

Third Goal

In our Phone Apps Episode before, I shared with you that I made a mobile game with one of my really good friends, Alex. Along the same lines, about 40 years ago, my dad started developing this idea that he had for a game and he was actually working with Atari at the time. Unfortunately, before it got to the end of the cycle where they were going to release it and put it in stores – the whole program got scrapped. It never saw the light of day other than the people and the relatives of people in Atari who got to play with it.

He always thought that this could be a cool thing to build. When mobile phones became a thing, he thought it would be the perfect mobile game to play because it’s a little fun game you can do on the side without having to devote a bunch of your time to get something from it.

I don’t want to overshare here but my dad’s health isn’t the best; it’s been declining – so one of the things I want to focus on this year is building out this game and engaging him with it to make sure his vision of the game is in there while modernizing it so it is still relevant in today’s culture. My third goal is to complete and publish the game by the end of this year.

Richie’s goals this 2017

First Goal

Unsurprisingly, I fit into that 75% that also share Gordon’s first goal. I’d like to lose 25 lbs. and the reason goes back to the same – it’s not about what the internet says my number should be. I am between 6’2″ and 6’3″, I currently weight about 245 lbs. But if I lose 25 lbs., I’m going to be in that 220 lbs. range. It is still way higher based on BMI standards but based on the best shape I’ve ever been in, that’s the weight I weigh. So based on my personal experience, I feel that’s a really good one.

I think it’s true for so many things too. What’s the right amount of this? What should I be doing? Do you feel good about it? If you don’t feel good about it, it’s probably not the way you should be doing it.

Second Goal

I’d like to focus only on the things that matter. The things that are really valuable so I can be fully present in them. It goes back to being busy vs. having a full schedule.

Full schedule could be busy. That’s one way to look at it but sometimes, busy is just unorganized chaos. So if I want to do a lot of stuff, I want it to be intentional. Intentionally full schedule as opposed to having a lot of things going on but chaotic, unfocused, and plenty of unintentional noise.

What I’m trying to do is instead of doing a bunch of stuff in a bunch of little pieces, and not really being in it; I want to just focus on the things that matter and be present for it.

Third Goal

For my number 3 goal, I’d like to go with “learning to learn”. I think we all have a pretty basic understanding of learning things. Some of us are visual learners, auditory learners, kinesthetic learners, or even a combination of those. I find myself to be more of a kinesthetic learner – I definitely learn more by actually doing it.

I want to go beyond that. Learning to learn faster, learning to learn more thoroughly, and having more things stick – that’s my goal. Because there’s a lot of things I still want to do in life and I want to make sure that I don’t spend 10 years learning something where I could get proficiency in a couple months.

Systems to Achieve those Goals

Breaking Barriers

A lot of times, goals are set like: “Im going to run this many miles per week” or “I’m going to hit the gym X days a week”. But a lot of times too, we build up big barriers why we can’t do that.

Maybe it’s something like “Do 50 push-ups”. The problem with lists like this is the next thing you know you’re building up excuses why you can’t do it today. You’ll say things to yourself like “I’m wearing this polo shirt, and I’m going to get all sweaty doing push-ups, then I’m gonna have to take a shower”, and then this and that.

But if your list just said, “Do pushups.” then the barrier disappears. If you do even 1 push up, then you technically win. Right? But once you do 1 push up, you’ve broken the ice. Now you can do 50.

Reducing Friction

From a systems point of view, you need to remove the things that are going to clutter up the system. Look at the failure points of your system. Things that are going to make it harder for you to achieve your next tasks – you want to remove those and you want to add things that can make it easier.

Let’s say your goal is going to the gym. Just go to the gym. Even if you just set foot in there, and you did a couple of curls, you already won. But how do you make yourself do that in the first place? Well, you know you’re going to change clothes and bring your gym bag with you, right? Put the bag down where you know you’ll be walking. You will eventually and intentionally step over the gym bag reminding you that what you’re supposed to be doing is going to the gym.

Fun Fact: Apparently, within the first 10 days of the New Year, 90% of people have abandoned their goals. By the time this is posted, 90% of you have already abandoned your goals. Get back on it!

Related: Gary Vaynerchuk on New Year’s Resolutions

Dealing with Non-stop Phone Notifications

Gordon: For emails, I use Inbox. One of the cool things about this app is it can suppress certain messages from you. When I get stuff from Facebook or promotional messages from email lists I’m subscribed to, it doesn’t give me a push notification. Now if I look at the app icon, there’s a little badge there that lets me know there’s a message, but it’s not interrupting me with those things. If you’re getting an email from a friend or family, it prioritizes those things and the app will shoot you a notification for it. Overall, it’s been really good at hiding things that you don’t really need to be interrupting you throughout the day.

Richie: I found way too often, I check my iPhone for notifications. Maybe it’s a notification from our FB group. I’ll check it on the go and now, I can’t stop thinking about it. Because it’s on the phone and it’s with you all the time. When I get this email or a message or whatever it is, I get aware of it and I want to respond to it as fast as I can. If I’m doing something, I have to drop whatever it is because I’m thinking about it and I want to act on it. All because I went and checked it when I wasn’t ready to actually work on it. So it’s best to limit your time checking your phone for notifications.

Do Less, Be More

Do less, be more, and just do it now. Go execute today. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Always set up yourself to win.

Good luck with whatever goals you guys have set up and let’s continue the conversation on our FB group too. We’d love to hear back from you guys and what systems you have found to work well for you!

Etsy Jam Episode 35: 2016 Year in Review

In this episode, we celebrate 2016 in true Marmalead fashion – by the numbers! We go over some interesting stats from 2016 concerning Marmalead and Etsy and offer some peeks into when different seasons begin trending. Enjoy some insights and get ready to make 2017 your year! We’d love to have you as a guest on Etsy Jam this year too so hit us up at success at marmalead dot com!

Shops Helped

This is probably the one that means the most to Richie and me, and that’s the number of shops that we were able to help throughout 2016.

Personal Support

One of the other things that we pride ourselves on is our level of Personal Support that we provide. We’re not just some kind of closed-off tool that it’s really hard to get to people behind the scenes if you have any questions or stuff like that. We want to make sure that we are super accessible via emails and Facebook but one of the best ways to reach us is through the Contact Us button inside the app. Throughout 2016, we were personally able to help over 3,000 Etsy sellers which is awesome.

Forgotten Passwords

Also, in 2016 we had over 18,000 Forgotten Passwords. That’s just not good – that’s crazy! That’s 4 times more than 2015! Use Lastpass, guys!

Keyword Searches

Keyword Searches inside Marmalead. In 2016, we had 1.27M keywords searches which is 7 times more than 2015! That’s fantastic growth and we’d love to see this continue on for 2017 too. We want to get more people in the tool using it and more people getting meaningful information about SEO by doing keyword searches inside Marmalead.

Keyword Comparisons

Another feature we have is Keyword Comparison. If you’re an Entrepreneur inside Marmalead, you can easily compare up to 4 different keywords and see quickly which ones has higher Engagement, which ones have more Competition, and what the Price Spread looks like for the different keywords. Throughout 2016, we have almost a million comparisons done inside Marmalead between different keywords. It’s gotten 29 times more than 2015! We think it’s a super useful tool as you are trying to drill into which keywords you should be using inside of your tags and title.

Related: Get Found on Etsy with Marma-Meter

Total Searches

Recently, we just crossed the 3M keyword search mark total since Marmalead has been around! We think that’s awesome.

Top 5 Most Searched Keywords

New Features

Keyword Storm

It’s a way of brainstorming keywords for your listings based on a seed keyword. You throw a keyword at it and it will start coming up with a whole bunch of keywords for you. As you add more keywords into your bucket, new ones will pop up.

Listing Scores

Now, you can tie your shop to Marmalead. We will analyze every single one of your Etsy listings and give you a letter grade score for how that listing is performing with respect to SEO. Anything that impacts SEO gets factored into this grade.

Listing Details

You can drill in any one of those listings to see even more information about that listing. Things that don’t necessarily impact SEO but stuff that you might want to keep a close eye on. A lot of that has to do with descriptions – how long that is, how readable it is, and sentiment whether your description is leaning towards being positive or negative.

Entrepreneur Course Library

Entrepreneur's Course Library

If you’re an Entrepreneur on Marmalead, you’ll have access to a library of videos which we will constantly be adding to throughout next year going forward.

Related: The NEW Marmalead

Storms

We only introduced the Storm right at the beginning of November but just in those months, we’ve already had over 35,000 Storms generated by Marmalead users! It helped people find over 271,000 new keyword ideas.

Listings Analyzed

We talked about scoring listings. Over the past couple of months since this feature has been released, we’ve analyzed over 20 million listings for Etsy sellers!

Entrepreneur’s Course Library

Our course library has started small with only 2 courses out there so far (we plan on adding more as time goes by) but even just in those couple of months with those 2 courses – we’ve had over 735 people participate and seen those videos. We also thrown in an ebook in there. So check out the courses + the ebook!

2016 Top 5 Keywords with the Highest Engagement

What is Popular When?

Christmas

It’s good to know when things are starting to pick up on Engagement for different holidays. You can look at the graph above and see that Christmas starts to pick up a bit in September but really starting to ramp up in October and November. Expect lots of Christmas engagement during those months and then it tapers off a little bit in December.

Wedding

Wedding searches throughout the year are pretty constant. There’s not one part of the year that really jumps out above the others. We do have little peaks around August and May, and a little bit on January and February.

Mother’s Day

Very beginning of May. No surprises there. But the big lead up to that is in the first two months before that – March and April.

Father’s Day

Can’t forget the fathers! The big months for that are May and June.

Fourth of July

Common theme here. A couple of months ahead of time. June and May have the highest engagement right ahead of July.

For anything you’re considering – whether that’s Halloween or Valentine’s day – a good practice is to assume that the first couple of months leading up to that are going to be the best months to start working in those tags into your listings; so you can start showing up in people’s searches.

Shop Fitness Calculator

It’s another cool tool that Marmalead offers and you can find it here. It’s a free tool you can use to grade your whole shop.

Looking across the data from 2016 – we can see that on average, the average Etsy seller has 4,277 views per month across all their products.

In that same vein, the average seller sees about 39 sales per month across all their listings.

The really meaningful part is when we combine these two numbers together – we can figure out the conversion rate (an important number to keep in mind for any person doing e-commerce). The average conversion rate for an Etsy seller right now is about 0.9%. Etsy says to shoot for 3%, but the average that we collected from sellers seem to be about 1%.

2017 is Your Year

Set your goals, set your sights on what you want to hit this year – whether it’s a certain sales goal on your Etsy shop, whether it’s leaving your day job, whatever those goals happen to be, set those up now and make 2017 your year!

Go get after it. Don’t overthink it, don’t over-plan it, just go – take action. Do it.

In this episode, we celebrate 2016 in true Marmalead fashion - by the numbers! We go over some interesting stats from 2016 concerning Marmalead and Etsy and offer some peeks into when different seasons begin trending. Enjoy some insights and get ready to make 2017 your year! We'd love to have you as a guest on Etsy Jam this year too so hit us up at success at marmalead dot com!

7 Key Takeaways from the 2017 Etsy Search Updates

Etsy has just released an article which details plans for the 2017 Etsy search updates. Last year they acquired Blackbird Technologies – a machine learning company. The purchase caused a bit of a stir in the Etsy community and spawned countless questions and even more conjecture. But now we finally have some details about Etsy’s plans. Here are 7 key takeaways from the announcement:

1. Etsy and its sellers are a team

Right off the bat, Etsy makes a point of reminding sellers that when they are successful, Etsy is successful. Etsy knows that search updates and algorithm updates can cause stress for sellers and they want to help minimize that by reminding sellers that Etsy’s success depends on seller success. Etsy says:

"When you're successful, we're successful."

2. Watch for search bar updates

Etsy breaks their 2017 search focus areas into two groups: helping buyers find the right items and building better tools for sellers.  The first way they plan to help shoppers is by “getting them started with the right search terms.”  This is almost certainly a reference to their search bar suggestions which they’ve been providing shoppers for quite a while. As shoppers type in the search bar, Etsy provides suggestions from a pool of other recent search terms. In order to help shoppers get started, they will undoubtedly be providing more personalized search term suggestions right within the search bar to help each shopper begin with the best possible search term for them. Etsy says:

"getting them started with the right search terms"

3. Changes to the search results page

The next thing Etsy plans to do for buyers is to help them “navigate their results in meaningful ways.” This could partially be referring to new filter options for shoppers which Etsy covers later in the article. But this likely includes other changes as well. There are vast possibilities but this could include things like quick product views on the search results page to pull key listing information further forward. This could also include features like “suggested listings” based on the search term and personalized browsing history. Etsy says:

"navigate their results in meaningful ways"

4. More specific ways to describe listings

As part of their list of updates for sellers, Etsy announced that they will be providing new ways for sellers to “convey specific information” about listings. This will likely be tied to some of the upcoming search filter updates. This will allow sellers to fill in information which helps to differentiate their listings from others. Etsy says:

"convey specific information about your items"

5. New search filters

Etsy announces new search filters in 2017. Currently, shoppers can filter by category, location, handmade/vintage, price, color, and ordering options. New ways to filter results could include things like seller rating, downloadable/handmade/vintage, size, and item quantity. Some sellers are even hoping for the ability to filter by items with coupon codes or those which are on sale. Etsy says:

"new ways for buyers to filter and explore their search results"

6. Don’t freak out

Again, Etsy is sensitive to the apprehension that surrounds any updates to the flow that helps customers find products. They remind sellers that they’ll keep them up to date as changes are made and will be sure to provide actions that sellers can take to make sure their shops are in the best possible standing. Etsy says:

"We'll continue to update you when we make any permanent changes to search"

7. Did I mention Etsy and sellers are a team?

Just as they opened the article, Etsy closes it with a reminder how important their relationship with sellers is. The last thing they want to do is completely turn the system upside down that is working for so many sellers. Changes will be slow and careful and deliberate. Keep an eye out for updates, make the necessary changes to your shops and everything will be fine. Etsy says:

 So what does this mean for the future of Etsy Search and Etsy SEO?

As Etsy begins to take advantage of the specialties of Blackbird Technologies, they’re looking to deliver a more personalized and intuitive search experience for shoppers. So what does this mean for SEO strategies? The core components that affect rank aren’t likely to change anytime soon. Etsy will still draw from listings’ tiles, tags, and recency. The majority of the changes are around HOW shoppers will get to those results pages and how they will navigate them. There will be other factors that Etsy introduces which will affect rank but the core algorithm is unlikely to drastically change. What does this mean for you as a seller? Sit tight and keep doing what you know works until Etsy announces changes. There is no need to jump the gun and start guessing how to update your listings for changes that may or may not happen.

What does this mean for Marmalead?

Marmalead’s algorithms measure engagement with search terms. Etsy is changing how they help shoppers find the right search term. So measuring which keywords they arrive at and which keywords enjoy the best engagement is still just as important as it used to be. In fact, with the crippling of Google’s Keyword Planner and Etsy’s planned changes to the search bar suggestions, Marmalead is becoming even more valuable to sellers as the best Etsy SEO solution available.

For the latest interpretations of Etsy SEO and search updates, subscribe to the Marmalead Blog.

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Etsy Jam Episode 34: Awesome Phone Apps Part 2

This episode is part 2 of a 2 part series about the apps Richie and I love most on our phones. So if you haven’t heard part 1 yet, check out episode 33. In this episode, we continue to cover a wide range of solutions so stay tuned and find out about some more killer apps you may be missing.

News Apps


Gordon: For tech news, I tend to use Flipboard to keep up on app releases and other things and features that they put out.

Utility Apps


Gordon: I have Speedtest to be able to check network speed. There’s another one called Fast; which does the same thing but it’s built by the folks behind Netflix.

I have Google Home which allows me to control my Chromecast. I got Chromecast plugged in to a couple of my TV’s and it allows me to cast stuff from my phone really easily to the TV and it will work with things like Netflix. More and more apps are including it – NBC and SNL support casting now so you can play something in your phone and throw it up on your TV.

Richie: I have an app that controls my router. It’s been fairly useful for things like turning off network on an iPad that the kids are using.

As far as utilities, I have Hiya, and it’s a spam call identifier app. With iOS 10, it ties in to CallKit so you can block spam calls before it rings you.

I also use this app called Key Ring. It’s a place to store all those loyalty and membership cards that you get from shops. It is exactly as it sounds like – all the cards that you would keep on your keychain; except that you’ve digitized them all. Lastly, I got Contacts Sync. It allows me to flawlessly sync my contacts between iCloud and Gmail.

Games


Gordon: I have DuoLingo which is more like a gamified language learning. It’s really fun and I think they did a fantastic job with it. So if you guys haven’t checked out DuoLingo and if you ever have felt interest learning other languages other than your native tongue, I would suggest that you check it out. They do a great job of making it fun to learn a new language.

They also have another app that is called Tinycards. They’re basically like flipcards that you flip when you’re trying to study something.

I have a game here too that I wrote called Block Blasters. You can’t actually get it on the iTunes store anymore but you can still get it on Google Play Store. Lastly, I picked up Super Mario Run at the time it got released.

Productivity Apps


Gordon: I have Wunderlist as my go to to-do list. I have Trello on my phone too because we use Trello a lot. That’s where we manage projects and move stuff around.

Richie: I use Todoist as my go to to-do list. I also have this app called Mile IQ. If you have a business where you pick up supplies and make drop offs to customers, Mile IQ will automatically detect when you’re driving so you don’t have to remember to record your mileage. It’s useful if you do any driving in your business using your personal vehicle, Mile IQ makes that really easy.

Closing Thoughts


Since we’re talking about phones; the phone is a great tool when used well. It’s very very easy to clutter up your phone and I think that every once in a while, you need to take a serious hard look at what’s on your phone, what you’re doing with your phone, and if it’s serving the purpose you want it to.

Perfectly fine if you wanna use it to veg down on the couch. As long as it’s intentional though. Sometimes, it’s really easy to think you’re being productive on your phone and then find out that something particular is taking up your time.

Bury those distracting apps deep and make them harder to get to. Or uninstall them even. Keep the stuff that’s good for you in front.

This episode is part 2 of a 2 part series about the apps Richie and I love most on our phones. So if you haven't heard part 1 yet, check out episode 33. In this episode, we continue to cover a wide range of solutions so stay tuned and find out about some more killer apps you may be missing.

Etsy Jam Episode 33: Awesome Phone Apps Part 1

This episode is part 1 of a 2 part series about the apps Richie and I love most on our phones. We cover a wide range of solutions from todo lists to photography and videography to relaxation and games. Stay tuned for this episode of Etsy Jam and find out about some killer apps you may not know about yet.

Weather Apps

Gordon: I like Weather Underground. It’s hyper-local which is what I like about it because I don’t end up with some inaccurate forecasts.

Richie: What I like about Weather Underground too are those webcams that they have in there. I can really see the weather because there’s an option to view nearby webcams. You can see if it’s a blue sky, or there’s snow on the ground, how much snow is there, or if it’s raining and those kind of stuff.

Chat Apps

Richie: I have Facebook Messenger. Family uses it and a good amount of random people I meet.

I have Snapchat too. There are couple of people that I talk to on there. Otherwise, I usually watch other people’s stories on Snapchat. My cousin is on there and she’s a flight attendant so I get to see the photos she took from different places in the world and that’s cool. I follow people like Gary Vaynerchuk, JLD from Entrepreneur on Fire, Alexis Ohanian from Reddit, and Justin Kan from Justin.tv and Twitch because they have some good stuff on there.

I also have WhatsApp. I have a handful of people I talk to on there. I have the default Messages on iPhone too for texting because a handful of people still use that. And then I have Signal. Signal is there for being the most obscure no-one-knows-about-it that you could possibly use for messaging.

Gordon: The other chat app that I have that Richie hasn’t mentioned yet, is Slack. Richie, Kevz, and I use Slack to talk as a team and it’s really convenient. It keeps everything organized for you – you can have different channels and things like that. It’s been a good solution.

Bonus app for Etsy sellers:

For you Etsy shops out there that maybe don’t want to put your mobile phone number, you can go ahead and get a Google Voice number and have people call that or make it ring you on your phone. Or maybe put it in Do Not Disturb if you don’t want to have people calling you on specific times of the day. It’s also a really easy way for you to put that extra touch point out there so if people really need it, they can give you a call. It has voice mail and all the regular features your phone already have; it’s just another number that you can throw around.

Music Apps

Gordon: I used to listen to a lot of podcast when I had my commute. I kinda have fallen off the podcast train since and I know I need to find a good point in my day where I can do that. I use Overcast for a really long time which I really like. Other music apps that I got is Serato Pyro. Serato Pyro is a fun one for anyone who is a music enthusiast and really likes the concept of the Genius feature in iTunes. Serato Pyro does that but it does it based on tempo. It’s almost like a DJ where you give it a list of songs and it will figure out the tempo of all those songs and feed them in order next to one another so that it smoothly transitions from one song to the next.

I’ve also got Amazon Music, Google Play Music, and Shazam.

Richie: I have Spotify which is in my home screen because I found it by far the best. I love their curated playlist and stuff. I think they really do a nice job of putting stuff together. They also have a bunch of playlists by mood and while I know a bunch of other services have those things too, I feel like Spotify nails it pretty well.

Movie and Entertainment Apps

Gordon: I have iMovie which I like. It’s good for manually editing videos but one of the really cool things that I like about iMovie is that they have some trailer presets that you can use. Just simply drop in your own footage and it will make a movie trailer sort of thing. I’ve done this a few times and it’s really fun.

I also have a cool one called Magisto. This is a cool app and I recommend you guys play with it at least or purchase their plan that they have with it. But it basically allows you to throw a bunch of videos or photos into a movie. It uploads your photos and footage to their servers and they go through it with their algorithm that figures out which are the most interesting parts of that footage is. Then it automatically edits all those pieces together for you and puts in a music that you choose. You also choose how long you want the clip to be and then it dumps out a movie for you at the end.

Richie: I have the Kindle app. I like to read on my phone because that’s what I have with me most of the time. I also use Pocket. Pocket is what you use when you find an article on the internet – whether it’s a blog post or a magazine or something. What you do is you save it to Pocket and this app strips out all of the distracting stuff like ads and just shows you the content. More importantly, this is the place where I put all these stuff for when I want to read something later.

Document and File Management Apps

Richie: I use two things. An app called Tiny Scanner so I can digitize paper documents. The other app is called Shoebox. Shoebox is a great little app for receipt retention. So pretty much anything I’m gonna need for tax related stuff; I scan them with Shoebox. Any business expenses are gonna get scanned in as well. They also have this optical character recognition that will extract the numbers off of it and identifies what it was, and where it’s for etc. I pay for that service just because it saves me a lot of time from not having to look at all the receipts and sort them out myself.

Photography Apps

Richie: Google Photos. I really like Google Photos. It does a really nice job of grouping things. It makes it really easy to make albums for me. They have a decent photo editing capabilities in there too. I like it and it’s good enough for me.

Gordon: I have a handful here. Simple DOF Calculator is one of them. If you take photos with a DSLR this could be handy for you. It basically helps you figure out what to set your aperture to on your camera if you’re doing manual shooting. It will help you calculate based on the kind of camera body you have, the lens type you have, what the focal length of the lens is, how far away your subject is – it will tell you where to set your aperture to get that nice blurry background which is called bokeh.

I also have Snapseed for editing photos which I used to love. Then there’s Prisma and it allows you to apply fun and artistic filters to things if you want to mess around. And then the last one I have under Photography is Lightroom. I’ve been a long time Lightroom user on my computer but on my phone, I recently snagged it because they just enabled RAW shooting on the iPhone 7 Plus so you can shoot in RAW mode. Most photographers will tell you to shoot RAW because it allows you to change photos with a lot more flexibility than you have when you’re shooting on Auto mode.

Security Apps

Gordon: Big ones for me under my security category would be LastPass and Google Authenticator. We’ve talked about LastPass in our Tools to Keep You Safe Online episode so if you guys haven’t seen or watched that yet, you should definitely check that one out. LastPass is a password manager basically and it’s super handy.

Google Authenticator allows you to do 2-Factor Authentication for your accounts. It’s another step when you log in to an account to help you lock down that account that if someone does get your password to your account, they won’t necessarily be able to log in as you because they are missing this piece of the puzzle. It’s pretty easy to use and pretty easy to set up.

Richie: I have LastPass but I don’t have Google Authenticator. I use something called Authy instead. The extra benefit of Authy is back ups. So if you switch phones or stuff like that, it’s much easier to transition to another device.

That wraps it up, but watch out for Part 2 of our Favorite Phone Apps!

This episode is part 1 of a 2 part series about the apps Richie and I love most on our phones. We cover a wide range of solutions from todo lists to photography and videography to relaxation and games. Stay tuned for this episode of Etsy Jam and find out about some killer apps you may not know about yet.

Etsy Jam Episode 32: Awkward Holiday Party

Welcome to our extra special super awkward holiday party episode. We take a break from the super serious no nonsense talk you’re used to from Etsy Jam and offer some answers to questions which will help you get to know Richie and I better. If you like ugly sweaters, awkward pauses, uncomfortable ice breakers and all the other fantastic parts of holiday parties, stick around!

What’s your favorite part about working full time at home?

Richie – My favorite part is having the family right here around the house. I can eat breakfast with them without worrying about rushing out of the house before they wake up or being late to office in traffic.
I can eat lunch with them and not having to miss dinner because I’m stuck in traffic either. Probably the lack of having to drive around makes that really nice.

Gordon – Not having to commute is the first thing that comes to mind. It was a real pain. Honestly, I didn’t realize how much of a pain it was until I stopped making that commute every day.
The other thing I really like about working from home is being here while my son is growing up. It’s really cool because even if I’m not engaging with him all throughout the day because I’m working – I’m still around for when certain things happen like that first time he laugh, or smile, or starts to really say things, or does something silly. I’m in the house for those things so when they can happen, I can be there quickly instead of totally missing out on those things.

Most challenging part about working full time at home?

Richie – Work – Life separation. It’s hard to leave something at the office when you live in the office. The same space where I keep the books and the whiteboard and other work stuff is right here. I walk by it all the time. So if I have an idea, I wanna run in and do something with it. It’s really hard to disconnect from it.

Gordon – Along the same lines of what Richie was saying; it’s the same deal of wanting to be accessible and be involved – but at the same time, I also need separation. I also need to be able to focus on work stuff and get things done too. Part of the problem is my office being here in the house; if they have a toy that’s broken, they come in to my office and now I’ve got not only my work stuff but also personal things are coming in as well. That’s one of the challenges. It’s keeping that separation and it’s also tough to set expectations because I don’t want to have a rigid schedule since I always enjoy flexibility and variety.

Top 4 Most Recommended Books

What would you say are your top books that you recommend people to check out if they haven’t read them already?

Richie:

Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Its real focus is on the power of the present. Don’t worry about the past. Past is gone, past doesn’t exist. Future. Don’t worry about it because it hasn’t exist either. So to worry about anything aside from what your current reality is doesn’t make a lot of sense because you don’t know what’s gonna happen in the very next moment.

Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. The book is really not about working less, it’s about working smarter. So of the 40 hours a week you work, what’s the 10% that’s actually the most productive and the most valuable? The most valuable 4 hours of your entire week. You don’t have to go through the book and do everything. Use it as lessons but the point is still to look for those 10% of what you do to get 90% of the results and see how you can implement that in your life.

Running Lean by Ash Maurya. This is part of the Lean Startup series. It’s a way to de-risk business ventures early on. Or projects in general. The idea is basically validating and seeing if this thing (your idea) has legs before you go out and spend a bunch of time and money on it.

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. I feel like a lot of people get caught up when they have business ideas. They need inspiration and they need to know it’s okay. This book has those lessons in it – you look at something, and you take that idea and you realize that it’s okay to do it because you’re doing something that’s different.

Gordon:

StrengthsFinder by Tom Rath. This was one that my previous job recommended. The premise of the whole idea is that a lot of times people tend to see what their weaknesses are and work to improve their weaknesses. The whole idea behind StrengthsFinder is that you identify what your strengths are and then you make sure you are amping those up as much as possible.

The Mythical Man Month by Fred Brooks. The concept behind the book is that you can’t just throw more people at a problem to solve it. So if you do have an office job, or if you are in any kind of management type position – this is probably a really good book for you. It’s really interesting. It’s a quick read and I like it!

Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty. The next ones are children books. Failure is okay. It’s okay to fail as long as you keep pushing forward especially if you have a passion at something. It’s a cool message that I don’t think often gets spoken about in children’s books and so I thought it’s a really cool one to share with kids. And it’s a good reminder for all of us.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. It’s a short story about a tree that just keeps giving and giving and giving until it has nothing left because it loves this little boy so much. He doesn’t really realize at all that the tree is sacrificing for him until later on.

Favorite spare time activities

Richie – I like to spend my time in the water. When I was in Cleveland, I love being on Lake Erie. I love boating as well and being at the beach. So back when I lived in Cleveland, Lake Erie would be my jam and when I was on Florida, loved being in the ocean. One of my favorite activities too is hiking in the mountains. There’s something about mountains that I find really calming and humbling at the same time.

Gordon – In true nerd fashion, I would say almost all that’s related to my computer. Whether it’s a side techy project or messing with Raspberry Pi things, any kind of Linux thing, and computer games too. I’ve got a little fun project that I’m doing right now and that is to build out my own home automation control security system that’s running on a Raspberry Pi. Messing with Philips Hue lights with their API to do some pretty cool things are one of my favorites too. Just random techy tech things like that.

Welcome to our extra special super awkward holiday party episode. We take a break from the super serious no nonsense talk you're used to from Etsy Jam and offer some answers to questions which will help you get to know Richie and I better. If you like ugly sweaters, awkward pauses, uncomfortable ice breakers and all the other fantastic parts of holiday parties, stick around!